Under the Weather: Dry start to weekend before turning stormy on Sunday

Spring has officially sprung! After daylight saving time, we’ve also added an extra hour of daylight—it’s amazing what that additional hour can do, isn’t it? It really is starting to feel like spring.

Since the start of meteorological spring, we are running a little bit behind normal in terms of precipitation; as of March 24, Paine Field has measured 1.82 inches of rain compared to the normal 2.53 inches.

Over the next couple days, we aren’t expecting to add to that amount, and it should start to feel a little bit more like spring than winter, thanks to an upper ridge of high pressure over the region. You can see this feature in the UW WRF-GFS model for early Friday morning.

This ridge is expected to persist through Saturday, which will lead to dry conditions. Temperatures will be nothing to write home about, with highs in the low to mid 50s for both Friday and Saturday. Even though it will be dry, some clouds are still expected. Expect the skies to get increasingly cloudy on Saturday ahead of a system set to arrive on Sunday. In fact, clouds on Saturday will likely keep temperatures at bay, preventing us from warming up to our full potential.

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that clouds at night help to keep us warmer by trapping outgoing heat from escaping our atmosphere. During the day, clouds have the opposite effect. They limit sunlight from getting to the surface and warming us up. If there were no clouds on Saturday, it’s quite likely we could see a day approaching 60, if not in the 60s.

As mentioned, the springlike weather will be put on pause on Sunday as a semi-potent system heads our way. This should start impacting us by Sunday afternoon, with a bout of widespread rain and wind. Models are suggesting that we could see gusts exceeding 40 mph with this system. If you have outdoor chores that need to get done, I suggest avoiding Sunday.

After this system passes through, another ridge is expected to build, bringing dry conditions once again. Slowly but surely, we’re heading towards our driest time of the year. We are on the downhill swing, as you can see with the below image.

Statistically, the amount of rain we see each month will be getting less and less as we head into April and into summer. Also notice the uphill climb in terms of average temperatures—it may not feel like it at times, but summer is coming. It’ll be here before you know it…it’s already almost April!

Have a great weekend.

— By Kelsie Knowles

Kelsie Knowles is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who lives in north Lynnwood. After writing weather blogs as a KOMO News intern, she discovered a passion for writing about weather. You can learn more in her blog www.wxnoggin.com and you can also follow her on Twitter at @kels_wx3.



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